Stone Crabs: One Last Splurge

Happy 2009! Can you believe it?

Well, here goes: this year I will try to- be more frugal; stick to a diet; be more patient; listen; pour more love and encouragement on those precious to me; be a better friend. These are not resolutions but merely a little list for myself. I think I can manage to accomplish most of it. The hardest part for me is always dieting. Not so easy.

My daughter will be returning to New York City Monday.... I will miss her very much. She has a contemporary art gallery there (see "My Favorite Websites" below) and the art market has not been all that great lately. I am crossing my fingers that all the naysayers will be wrong in their predictions for 2009. This gallery is Tracy's dream and she works like mad to make it a success, which it has been for several years. I know, everyone is having problems with the economy and everyone is working hard to keep their dreams alive. But we mothers worry about all our kids, we can't help it and no matter how grown up they are, this will never change. I worry about my sons just as much. Little kids, little problems; big kids, big problems. Can't remember where I first heard that, but it sure is true.

So, in keeping with our diet promises (But our frugal promises? Not so much.) I decided to surprise Tracy on New Year's Day with her all-time favorite: stone crabs. Delicious and aren't the colors to die for? And best thing yet, no work. They are cooked and cracked and ready to go.

To accompany, we always use a recipe I found years ago in the Miami Herald for Joe's Mustard Sauce. The Joe I speak of is -need I say it- Joe's Stone Crab, the famous Miami restaurant where stone crabs are king. And the rest of their food is pretty regal too. Now I have no idea if this recipe is really Joe's or not. The paper claimed it was and we think it's pretty close to the real thing, so that's what we call it, with mea culpas to Joe's if it's not.

Joe's Mustard Sauce

3 and 1/2 teaspoons dry English mustard (like Coleman's)
1 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon A-1 sauce
1/8 cup light cream
1/8 teaspoon salt

In a small bowl beat the dry mustard and mayonnaise until blended. Add remaining ingredients and chill until ready to serve. Makes 1 cup.

We needed a salad as well, so I made some Broccoli Slaw. It's pretty, you can make it ahead, although it is a simple recipe to begin with, tasty and the perfect foil for the stone crabs. My friend Polly originally gave me the recipe so I named it after her. You don't need another thing- perhaps some white wine and for those who wanted dessert I pulled out what was left of my Apricot and Nut Cookies. Yum! What a great start for 2009.

Polly's Broccoli Slaw

1 pound broccoli slaw (you can find it in your market)
1 package cole slaw
6 green onions, sliced
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
2 packages ramen chicken soup mix
1 1/2 cups salad oil
2 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
6 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Mix the first five ingredients and refrigerate. Make a dressing with oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper and 1 1/2 packages of the seasoning mix in the soup packet. Mix well. Just before serving, crunch up the noodles of both packages and add to the slaw. (I put them in a plastic bag and pound them with my rolling pin) Pour dressing over and serve.

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